political interference


Photo: Alexandra Koch/Pixabay

As Schools Plead for COVID-19 Safety Information, White House Politicizes CDC Guidance

, Lead science and policy analyst

In the latest example of how the Trump administration is monumentally botching the response to a public health emergency, the president called the CDC’s guidance for safely reopening schools too“ tough” and “expensive” and even threatened to cut funding from schools that were planning virtual instruction. In response, CDC head Dr. Robert Redfield suggested that the guidance was indeed “guidance, not requirements” and that it shouldn’t be used to justify keeping schools closed. By restricting what CDC scientists can recommend on how to open schools safely, the Trump administration is heightening the risk to children, their families, and their teachers of contracting a potentially deadly disease. Read more >

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Six Ways Nancy Beck Showed Us She Doesn’t Care About Us or Science

, Lead science and policy analyst

As I balance working from home and caring for my toddler, I spend a lot of time staring at the scores of products in my home that the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is tasked with keeping safe. That means I also spend a lot of time thinking about the potential for Dr. Nancy Beck—a former American Chemistry Council official–to lead that agency. And let the record show I don’t trust that she would use science to keep us safe. Read more >

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Photo: Mike Mozart/Flickr

Administrator Wheeler is Hiding the Truth About Formaldehyde

, Lead science and policy analyst

The Union of Concerned Scientists along with the Environmental Defense Fund, Natural Resources Defense Council, and Environmental Protection Network asked EPA’s Scientific Integrity office to investigate what seems to be political interference that occurred at the EPA in its recent suspension of the Integrated Risk Information System (IRIS) formaldehyde risk assessment. In his responses to senators’ questions about the assessment earlier this year, Wheeler claimed that “Formaldehyde was not identified as a top priority.” But, in documents obtained through FOIA request, the Union of Concerned Scientists found evidence that EPA staff was not only interested in the formaldehyde risk assessment, but as of 2017 the air office had a “strong interest in the review and are anxious to see it completed.” Read more >

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What Happened During the Hasty White House Review of EPA’s Science Restriction Rule?

, Lead science and policy analyst

We already know that the production of Administrator Scott Pruitt’s rule to restrict science at the EPA was purely political, but it’s possible that there’s a whole new layer of politics that went on at the White House level as well. Read more >

Photo: Matthew Platt/CC BY-SA (Flickr)
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Photo: Iowa State University/Lisa Schulte Moore

Sustainable Agriculture on the Chopping Block in Iowa

, Kendall Science Fellow

There has been unsettling news out of my former home over the last week, as the Iowa legislature plays politics with critical scientific research in the state. In the closing days of the legislative session, two budget bills moved swiftly that could force the closing of the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture, a nationally recognized center for sustainable agriculture research. Read more >

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